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Special Edition in Memory of Enid Davis, Jamaican hero







August 2002

Special Memorial Edition Dedicated To The Memory of ENID DAVIS, Jamaican Hero

Enid Davis, martyred in the service of Jamaica poor

Enid Davis was vice president of the Jamaica Awareness Association of California (JAAC). She left her comfortable home in Los Angeles to come to Jamaica as one of the JAAC medical team in order to save lives.

The medical team of about 40 had left Los Angeles to render free medical treatment to residents of rural parishes of Jamaica. However before the mission even got started, on Saturday June 22 shortly after noon, on the Long Bay main road in St. James, their car had a flat tire. As they waited on repairs, an oncoming car went out of control and struck Enid Davis. She was killed on the spot. Her husband Wallen and two others were injured, treated at hospital and released. The driver of the car was subsequently charged with manslaughter.

It has to be a tragedy of monstrous proportions and must have utterly devastated the group. Prime Minister PJ Patterson must be commended for visiting the group at their hotel, promising to pay to transport the body back to Los Angeles and for 2 airline tickets for Jamaican family members to attend the funeral back in Los Angeles.

Nevertheless, the JAAC team, numbering 37, mustered up the courage and carried out their mission of mercy. In rural St. Ann, they constructed makeshift operation and examination rooms, and performed minor surgeries. From far and near the number of patients grew. One patient even arrived at 2 am, a full 7 hours early to make sure she was in time to receive treatment ahead of the 300 patients that overflowed the waiting room. By the time the team ended up in rural St. Mary, they had examined about 2,000 patients and had disbursed over US$130,000 worth of medicine.

At these rural clinics, residents can barely afford doctors fees as low as US$3, much less the higher prescription costs. As a result, cases of hypertension, diabetes, STD's, and widespread fungal infections are left to proliferate. It is because of these dreadful conditions that the services of the JAAC is so valuable.

However, Jamaican bureaucracy frustrated them from completing all their mission. They also brought 40 computers from the US, but during the 2 weeks of their stay, Customs failed to release them.

JAAC/Enid Davis Memorial Fund
Hot Calaloo pays the highest tribute to Enid Davis, who has given her life in helping the poor of Jamaica. Let us not allow the name of Enid Davis to fade away as a Jamaican traffic statistic. She is a true hero. The JAAC has established a memorial fund in Enid's name her life-long work and commitment to the needy.

Let us acknowledge and revere our heroes! Hot Calaloo urges its readers to contact their friends and Jamaican organisations to recognize and remember this brave hero by contributing to this fund. Send donations to:

JAAC/Enid Davis Memorial Fund
PO Box 431298
Los Angeles CA 90043

You may also download and complete a contribution form at the JAAC website Information about Enid's JAAC volunteer work is also included.

Posthumous national award for Enid Davis campaign
But this is not enough. Enid Davis deserves to receive a posthumous national award from Jamaica and Hot Calaloo intends to do whatever it can to bring this about. Once again Hot Calaloo urges individuals and organizations to help with this campaign. Write letters. Enlist the help of Jamaican and Caribbean organizations. For Enid Davis is a national hero and we want the Government to recognize it.

  • Let this be some comfort to her grieving husband.
  • Let the name of Enid Davis live on to be an inspiration for her fellow members of JAAC and all the other individuals and groups that return home and put their bodies on the line to help the poor and needy.
  • Let the name of Enid Davis be a catalyst for the Government to transform the Customs Department into an ally of those kind souls that ship or take charitable donations of goods back home instead of being a callous insensitive bureaucratic obstacle.

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FTAA seminar fails to convince 

The topic was "The future of Caribbean Business and the Free Trade Area of the Americas: Assessing the opportunities and the challenges. It was held at Howard University in Washington DC and was sponsored jointly by the Caribbean Ambassadors’ Caucus, the OAS, and CARICOM Regional Negotiating Machinery. Hot Calaloo attended the conference convinced that the FTAA will be an economic catastrpophe for CARICOM and heard nothing new to change this view.

US can’t be trusted
This FTAA is a concept which originated from the US. In these trade agreements, the US does not represent the voice or will of its people. Instead in reality, it is representing the voice and wishes of huge multinational corporations that fund the election of persons that will do their bidding. These companies, such as Chiquita Bananas, are aggressive and ruthless and will go after every buck regardless of the economic consequencies to CARICOM.

The FTAA is a trade agreement, but can we trust the US to abide by international agreements if they encounter any unfavorable dispute settlement? They are the only superpower and have show their contemptuous disregard for international organizations and agreements evidenced by:

  • They fail to honor their dues to the UN amounting to millions of dollars and impose unilateral ransom conditions to pay it.
  • They have broken the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty unilaterally
  • They have broken or failed to ratify the Kyoto agreement on the environment
  • They have failed to ratify the UN resolution on the Rights of the Child
  • They have rejected the authority of the International Criminal Court and have forced the UN to exempt US citizens from being tried under its jurisdiction for 1 year. It is the only country to do so.
  • They are at this very moment blocking an agreement on an International Convention on Torture. This agreement seeks to set global standards of justice and human rights but the US blocking it because it might allow foreign observers to visit US jails and the Guantanamo Bay naval base, where suspected al-Qaida fighters are held.

If any CARICOM country goes against ant FTAA rules even for the sake of its economical survival, we can expect harsh sanctions. But, if the US does, it will probably threaten to leave and get away with it scott free.

Good news
Theoretically CARICOM has more power than US because we represent 15 votes out of the 34 nations and the US only one. This is clearly an intolerable position for US and is obviously only a façade. Already US is showing its muscle over CARICOM by the attacks on CARICOM negotiator in current meetings. CARICOM negotiator, the articulate and skillful former Jamaica Ambassador, Richard Bernal, is being subjected to all sort of US duress just because he is trying to ensure small weak CARICOM countries are not imperiled by FTAA rules. (see from July 2002 update US attack CARICOM tariff protection) How long can he hold out against the power of US though? Fortunately, that reliable friend of the Caribbean, Congressman Charles Rangel of New York is lending his support, but will it be enough? Besides all disputes are to be settled by consensus. One country - one vote and  consensus sound good but I bet the reality is a different thing.

(Look for regular updates on FTAA  as negotiations on the rules continue. See if CARICOM can hold out for a fair deal or is the Caribbean on target for even more economic misery. So, lets be vigilant and ready!)

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Haiti admitted to CARICOM

Haiti was admitted as the 15th member of the Caribbean Community, becoming the most populous and poverty-stricken state in the trading bloc. The poorest country in the hemisphere has a per capita of US$400 per year compared with a country like the Bahamas or Barbados with an annual income of US$10,000. Haiti has a population of 8 million compared to the total of the rest of CARICOM of 6.5 million. In addition 200 years of dictatorship has taken their toll and violence, political assassinations and decimated institutions are the norm.

So President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's government needs a lot of help dealing with precarious national security and in collecting thousands of illegal weapons in the hands of government and opposition partisans. Guyana's President Jagdeo Bharrat will visit Haiti later this year to welcome it to the bloc and explain the benefits of membership.

Ironically Haiti's admission took place in Guyana at the CARICOM summit, during which anti-government protestors rioted, resulting in 2 deaths and at least 12 injured by gunshot wounds.

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US Congress votes down Cuban embargo

The Republican-led House defied a veto threat from President Bush by voting overwhelmingly to ease the 40-year-old economic embargo against Cuba and let American tourists visit the island.
In a series of lopsided votes, lawmakers approved measures:

  • Allowing private financing of agricultural sales to the island.
  • Lifting restrictions on the amount of money Cuban Americans can send to relatives on the island.
  • Abolishing restrictions on who can and cannot travel to Cuba, this on a 262-167 vote.
  • Allowing financing of food and medicine sales, on a voice vote.

"This is all about freedom," said Rep. Jeff Flake, Arizona Republican. "Our government shouldn't tell us where to travel and where not to travel."
Republicans from farm states joined most Democrats to overpower those who argued the measures would be a victory for Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
The measure to lift a $1,200-a-year cap on remittances to Cuba by relatives in the United States won on a 251-177 vote.
On a 247-182 vote, lawmakers defeated an amendment offered by Rep. Porter J. Goss, Florida Republican, and supported by the hard-line anti-Castro caucus that would have kept the travel restrictions in place until Cuba proved it was not developing biological weapons.
The votes were a clear defeat for the White House, which put on last-minute pressure with a letter from Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill opposing the legislation.
The Senate is expected to defy the White House as well and pass similar measures.
Wayne Smith, President Carter's senior diplomatic representative in Havana, said Mr. Bush's opposition is all about Florida politics.
"President Bush doesn't want to offend the hard-line Cuban exiles because his brother [Florida Gov. Jeb Bush] is up for election," Mr. Smith said.
Geoff Thale, of the Washington Office on Latin America, a human rights group, said the vote reflects growing sentiment in Congress and throughout the United States that U.S. policy needs to change.
"We permit travel to China, why not Cuba?" he said.
There is a report that already North Dakota is lining up a wheat deal with Cuba.

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Serious problem brewing inside CARICOM

In the judgement of CARICOM General Secretary Edwin Carrington issues of regional unity are at stake. The whole concept of freedom of movement without visas between member countries is being threatened. Basically small countries are afraid of being overwhelmed by immigrants from the larger CARICOM member countries.

Anguilla has recently moved to impose visa requirements for Jamaica and Guyana. Concern is rising in Antigua as a recent survey found that 35% of the population were non-Antiguan.

Even in the Bahamas which is on the verge of CARICOM membership, this is an anticipated problem. Boatloads of Haitian refugees have been ending up in Bahamas and sometimes Jamaica. They have been sent back to Haiti as fast as they arrived. Now that Haiti is a full fledged member of CARICOM, there is concern that they might be entitled to stay as there are no visa requirements for CARICOM members. When we consider that Haiti has a population of 8.5 million, more than all the rest of CARICOM countries put together (7.5 million) and 4 times the next most populous country, Jamaica. It also has the poorest population by far. Massive influx of Haitian refugees could happen without visa restrictions which would easily plunge both destination countries into economic chaos. They do not have the resources and facilities to accommodate such an influx.  Mr. Carrington seems intent on convincing these countries of the need to continue this visa-free movement between members. Hot Calaloo disagrees. The merit of visa-free travel between member states is not that big a factor in the unity of CARICOM. On the other hand if nationals start to feel that immigrants are threatening their jobs in large numbers, it will easily escalate into ill will and worse, which will be a real threat to CARICOM unity. Until each country has the resources to handle that type of unrestricted immigration, I think they should continue visa requirements.

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West Kingston Commission clears security forces

The 3-member Commission of Enquiry into the violence that lerft 27 people dead in Western Kingston on July 7 to 10 of last year (2001) have completed their report. They cleared the security forces of any wrongdoing. The commission was headed by Justice Julius Issac of Canada. The report found :

  • The security forces carried out their law enforcement functions "satisfactorily in all circumstances".
  • The uncontradicted testimony of witnesses showed that the large contingent of police reflected the nature of the task to be done - to execute cordons and searches for guns and ammunition in 19 areas in the Kingston Western Police Division.
  • Violence against the security forces was perpetrated by groups of armed civilians which provoked their response the return of gunfire, albeit with some restraint in order to protect lives.
  • There was no evidence of indiscriminate use of violence by security forces.
  • "The essential cause of the violence in Denham Town, Tivoli Gardens and their environs during 7-10 July, 2001, was the presence of drugs, the proliferation of guns and ammunition in the hands of civilians residing in the area and the desire of the owners to protect them".
  • Uncontradicted evidence showed that the security forces came under heavy gunfire from armed civilians.
  • The security forces spent inordinately long periods of time taking cover from gunfire that came from all directions, in buildings and behind buildings.
  • The security forces were generally impeded in the execution of their planned operations.
  • Because of the continuous gunfire aimed in their direction the security forces were prevented from removing seriously injured and dead who had fallen on the streets.
  • No evidence existed that could attribute the loss of civilian lives to the action of the security forces only.
  • There was no credible evidence of violence directed through political motivation.

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T&T pipeline would pump natural gas throughout Caribbean

Trinidad and Tobago announced plans to run an undersea natural gas pipeline throughout the Caribbean, saying the project would open new markets in the region.  The proposed pipeline would run from Trinidad to the French islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe through the Eastern Caribbean, ending in Puerto Rico, Trinidadian Prime Minister Patrick Manning said  at the conclusion of a three-day Caribbean summit in Guyana. 
"We are about to expand significantly our exports. In that context, new markets have to be opened and there is a big market in the region," Manning said. 
The pipeline's "implications for the economic well-being of the Caribbean are so great," he said.

Feasibility studies estimate a line running from Trinidad to Guadeloupe and Martinique with branches extending to Antigua, St. Kitts and Barbados could cost up to $500 million, Manning said. 
He said other countries could get compressed liquefied gas shipped to them. 
Manning said the project could extend to Guyana and perhaps even the Dominican Republic and Cuba, which have a combined population of about 18 million. 
The pipeline could be completed in three years, Manning said without indicating when construction might begin.

Trinidad and Tobago has known natural gas reserves of more than 22 trillion cubic feet. Revenue from gas exports is projected to be $7.3 billion over 20 years.


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US court asked to block loan to Guyana

A US telecommunications company has asked a court in Washington to block a loan to Guyana from the Inter-American Development Bank, claiming that the funds will be used to break its monopoly there.

Atlantic Tele-Network, which received a 40-year exclusive license 11 years ago when it bought the state-owned GT&T, the local telephone company, said the government's plans to use the $18m loan to create a nationwide information technology network would offer competing services.

ATN is seeking an injunction directing Paul O'Neill, the US treasury secretary, to instruct Jose Fourquet, the US executive director at the bank, to vote against the loan. ATN is also seeking an order to block all other IDB loans to Guyana.
Cornelius Prior, chairman of Virgin Islands-based ATN, said it was illegal for the US, through the IDB, to lend money to a country that tried to break contractual obligations with a US firm.
He said: "We have told the IDB that we are not against this loan per se, but we have got to negotiate the introduction of competition, if that is what they want. We must get compensation if our monopoly is broken."
Bharrat Jagdeo, Guyana's president, said Atlantic Tele-Network's decision to have a US court intervene in the dispute came as the government and the company were discussing the matter.
He said: "I see this as an attempt to blackmail the country, to prevent ordinary citizens from having access to these services."
Guyana said the loan would create more than 200 IT access points throughout the country of 83,000 square miles, giving mostly free internet access to people who cannot now afford it.
This would also allow residents in deep rural and sparsely populated areas to have access to a range of government services, including applications for passports and birth certificates.
The government has said it would seek arbitration to scrutinise the origin of the GT&T sale agreement, and what it described as a lack of valuation or tendering, and a failure by ATN to expand its services.

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Civil servants protest tax hike in Dominica

Hundreds of government workers marched outside Dominica’s government headquarters to protest a new payroll tax. They were protesting a new tax of 4%, on the wages of those earning more than US$3,300 per year. Income taxes already run 20 – 40%. The strike prevented most government departs from operating.

The protest came after Parliament approved an austerity budget of US$90 million, a massive cut from the last year’s budget of US$143 million. Finance minister Osbourne Riviere announced plans to cut the US$30 million deficit by :

  • cutting 5 cabinet and adviser posts
  • cutting government spending
  • raising taxes on fuel, sales and telephone service

It was also reported that Dominica’s Prime Minister met with a top leader from an Eastern Caribbean Security force. This prompted a rally by opposition forces urging nearby nations of St. Kitts and Nevis and St. Vincent and the Grenadines to stay out of their internal affairs.

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Kingston, Jamaica, a former beautiful city

Kingston, Jamaica used to be a beautiful city. Not anymore. A major contributor to the decline is the overwhelming presence of sidewalk vendors that cover the downtown commercial area like a plague of locusts. It had got so bad that even the historic parish church was rendered inaccessible to churchgoers and was considering closing. Finally this created an outcry and the besieged merchants whose shops and other places of businesses downtown were relieved when the KSAC vowed to clear the squatters. The police cleared the squatters in a 7-hour night undertaking. The squatters were angry. They did not want to move to the legal markets provided for them. Legal merchants breathed a sigh of relief. People could get access to them again. But not for long.

Within days the majority of the streets were once again blocked with squatters. They did not put back their stalls, but used boxes, metal drums and whatever they could. They had taken advantage of the lack of police presence. KSAC is frustrated as they state there is not enough police to keep all the areas clear. So chaos and frustration continues to reign.

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Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz get land

Four members of Jamaica’s 1998 World Cup soccer team have been awarded land courtesy of the government through its "Operation Pride" movement. All 4 players are from Montego Bay area and received certificates which gave them the right to land at the Barrett hall Development . The 4 players are Theodore Whitmore, Warren Barrett, Paul "Tegat" Davis and the late Stephen "Shorty" Malcom, whose mother accepted on his behalf.

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Large teacher exodus from Jamaica feared

The president of the Jamaica Teachers Association (JTA) says he expects an even larger exodus of teachers come September. This time the destination of majority will be England. From his information sources he expects more than the 450 that left last year. Worse yet the demand is for teachers in the field of the sciences, information technology and special education.

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Caribbean coral reefs at risk

According to a report by the Cousteau Society the world's coral reefs are at risk but those in the Caribbean are in the worst shape. For though 58% of the worlds reefs are at risk over 60% of those in the Caribbean are at risk. In the Caribbean the worst ones are in Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and the lesser Antilles. The culprits of destruction are identified as over-fishing, destructive fishing practices (such as fishing with explosives or poison), extensive coastal development, and pollution. Their destruction is not only an aesthetic problem but has economic consequences for the world. These coral reefs are considered the " most productive ecosystem in the sea" and worldwide yield approximately US$375 billion per year in goods and services.

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Jamaica stages the best World Junior Champs ever

"This is the best, the most successful World Junior Championships……."Jamaica is the most successful country to stage this event. This is the most wonderful crowd that I've seen at this event. The world came to Kingston, Jamaica. This has been a meet of celebration. "

These were the words the president of the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF), Lamine Diack, used to describe Jamaica’s hosting of the IAAF/Cocoa Cola World Junior Championships. It seemed this euphoric feeling was shared by the international contestants and spectators, visiting Jamaicans and the local population as the undertaking ended with a festive reggae party in the National Stadium to the sounds of Bob Marley songs and Beres Hammond.

On the field, Jamaica and the Caribbean distinguished themselves. In total medals, Jamaica with 11 was second to the US with 21. Fifteen-year-old Usain Bolt captured the men’s 200 meters to become the youngest ever to win that event. T&T’s Darryl Brown and Marc Brown took 1-2 in the glamour event, the men’s100 meters. Brown’s time of 10.09 seconds was a new record. Jamaica’s 4x100 m women's relay team of Sherone Simpson, Kerron Stewart, Anneisha McLaughlin and Simone Facey also took gold.

Here is the medal count for the leaders and the rest of the Caribbean:

USA 21 9 5 7
Jamaica 11 2 5 4
China 11 2 8 1
Russia 10 1 2 7
Kenya 8 5 1 2
Ethiopia 8 3 4 1
Poland 5 1 2 2
Cuba 4 3 1 0
T&T 3 1 1 1
Croatia 3 0 0 3
Antigua 1 0 1 0
Bahamas 1 0 0 1

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Caribbean impress at Commonwealth Games 

Debbie Fergueson of the Bahamas took the women’s sprint double, the 100m and the 200m in Commonwealth record times, to lead Caribbean athletes in an impressive display in athletics at the 17th Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England. They completely dominated the sprints. But they ventured out into new territory to win events like women’s long jump, men’s decathlon, and women’s Javelin. In the 4x400 relays for both men and women, Jamaica had incredible bad luck during the race, which prevented them from finishing both races where they had started as favorites. Nevertheless Caribbean athletes had an impressive haul of medals as indicated below:

100m W 1. Debbie Fergueson (Bah); 2. Veronica Campbell  (J); 3. Sevatheda Fynes  (Bah)
100m M  1. Kim Collins (St. Kitts & Nevis)
200m W  1. Debbie Fergueson (Bah) ; 2.Juliet Campbell (J)
200m  M  1. Fredricks (Namibia)
400m W   1. Alian Pompey (Guyana) 3. Sandie Richards (J)
400m M  1. Michael Blackwood (J); 3 Avard Moncur (Bah)
Long Jump W 1. Eva Goulbourne (J)
Long Jump M 3. Kareem Streete-Thompson (Cayman)
Javelin W 1. Laverne Eve (Bah)
Decathalon M 1. Claston Bernard (J)
400m Hurdles W 2. Debbie-Ann Parris (J)
400m Hurdles M  3.Ian Weakley J
100 m Hurdles W 1. Lacena Golding-Clark (J); 2. Vonette Dixon (J)
100 m Hurdles M 3. Maurice Wignall (J)
4x100 W 1. Bahamas 2. Jamaica
4x100 M 2 .Jamaica
4x400 M 3. Bahamas

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